CC’s fifth annual Big Idea competition, with $50,000 in seed money at stake, yielded three very different – and very creative – winners.
First-place winner FlyPhone took home $30,000. FlyPhone was developed by a team of seniors: Ben Tweedy and Kiki Kauffman, who pitched the concept, along with John Silvester, Dan Keogh, Teddy Corwin, and Matt Levitan. FlyPhone uses a drone to turn a cellphone into a personal aerial cameraman.
In second place was Chica Chocolate, which received $10,000. Team members Cassidy Lam ’19 and Elise Morgan (a CU student) are developing high-quality chocolate truffles that are infused with Chinese herbs designed to ease monthly hormone cycles. The chocolates are delivered to customers on a subscription basis.
Also receiving $10,000 was third-place Ogugu, made up of team members Harvey Kadyanji ’18, John Roy Ballossini Dommett ’18, and Niyanta Khatri ’17. Ogugu is a business analytics platform empowering owners of micro-enterprises with inventory management, bookkeeping, and operations reporting and forecasting services. Initially aimed at Tanzanian micro-enterprises, it hopes to expand as it offers an affordable mobile solution to improving the performance, efficiency, and growth of micro-enterprise commerce.
Two other teams made it to the finals, culled from a field of 17. They were Spindle, a neuro-technology company that uses a sleep headband to optimize mental performance, featuring team members Ben Hicks ’18, Alec Sheffield ’18, and Henry Alderson-Smith ’18. Also in the finals was TREEhouse, which provides a treehouse vacation with a social and environmental emphasis. Team members include Kat Jacaruso ’17, Erin Burk ’17, and Cora Lubchenco ’17.
The judging panel consisted of CC alumni and entrepreneurs Meriwether Hardie ’09, Richard Koo ’82, Kishen Mangat ’96, Susan Smith Kuczmarski ’73, P’06, and five-time judge Bob Selig ’61.